Race: Rodes City Run 10K
Place: Louisville, Kentucky
Date: March 24, 2018
I wish cold, wet weather would GO AWAY! I’m so done with it. I’m tired of all the layers. Of the whipping winds. Of the rain. All. The. Rain.
I’m done with it.
And, being that I signed up for the Rodes City Run 10K on a whim and was just coming off of the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon and a hard week of lots of treadmill training (including over 9 miles of speed work…on the tready…because weather has been wet and gross as of late), I wasn’t loving waking up the morning of the race and hearing the pouring rain and wind.
I believe the words, “I would rather run on the treadmill!” crossed my lips that morning.
I almost suggested not going…but I had friends who I was meeting up with and Cathy was going to tape up my friend Melissa’s Achilles due to some strain from the NYC half’s Central Park hills.
That was the plan that we had come up with the night before. Melissa was kind enough to pick up my race packet when she went to get hers and her husband’s. Then, we met up with her and Paul at Dragon King’s Daughter for a sushi dinner that night and some relaxing and laughs and a NYC recap. It was amazing. And I’m finding that vegan sushi works really well for me before races. So, there is that.
I went to bed at my normal time and woke up with enough time to do all my physical therapy stretches and exercises and not feel rushed going out the door to the race. What I woke up to was dread…because I could tell that, once again, it was just going to be a cold race. And this time…wet on top of it too.
I ate a light breakfast and packed my Lärabar to eat 30 minutes prior to go-time. I’ve become very good about proper fueling before a race…even a 10K…because my races are starting to get a little better when I put fueling into proper practice.
Cathy had to leave the race sign behind, but threw on her rain jacket and we headed out the door into the cold…wet morning. And the drive into Louisville was…also cold and wet. And we ended up parking a good ways away from the start and the finish…which meant a bit of a hike. Originally we had hoped to meet up with Melissa and Paul at the parking garage where they parked, but it was across the highway and there just wasn’t enough time. We had to pay for our spot on this flat lot and head to the start. Melissa and Paul said they would head that way too. We walked through the staging area, letting them know we were hanging out near the port-a-potties (I mean…why hang anywhere else?). We ended up taking photos for some people, and I shivered a lot…but we didn’t see them. Cathy knew if she was going to get a spot at the start she needed to head that way…so we headed over to the corrals and she went to get a spot.
And no sooner had she left…I found Melissa and Paul. Melissa asked where Cathy was and I went to try to find her, but she had meandered up past the start line at this point. No good. I went back to let Melissa know…and discovered they had found Chris and Christy (who I met through them at Disney). They asked about the half marathon the weekend before, and I said it was fun and cold. Melissa’s Achilles was really bothering her, so she was hinting that she may just not start this time. Rest it. I gave her a hug and wished her luck, whatever she chose to do. The National Anthem was sung…and so I meandered a little further up in the corrals to prep for the start.
The wheelchair racers were sent off first…and then the rest of us.
I don’t remember too much about this race. I was focused on trying not to worry over the fact that I was wearing my very old shoes that I use as rain shoes in training…but since I’m down to just my regular race shoes that are hard to find because they have been updated 4 times since then…I didn’t want to ruin them in the rain…or the fact that I was freezing…or that I couldn’t do a few traditions because of the weather (my hair was braided and not in my signature pigtails for one thing…and all of that was slapped under a ball cap to keep the rain out of my eyes). But here’s what I do remember…
Mile 1 was totally into the wind. Every bit of it was met with strong resistance as all of us ran down West Broadway toward Grinstead. Total headwind. And then we get the hill climb there. And the wind is still howling. And at this time I’m really starting to question life decision, but am thankful in the wind for my NYC Half Marathon windbreaker that I am sporting. I was just glad to get up the hill…even though it slowed me down for Mile 2 to be my slowest mile of the entire race.
After that, there are some climbs, lots of wonky tilty roads, and the run around the outside of Cave Hill Cemetery. Once we got the wind break, thanks to the walls around the cemetery, I started to feel hot. Then I’d come around a corner and get hit by that wind and once again be grateful for throwing on the windbreaker. I usually hate running in jackets…but today…I was happy to have it…most of the time.
I remembered heading into Mile 3, I saw both of the wheelchair racers heading up too. They started to crest and come down and were shouting, very loudly, that they were coming up from behind…but people run with earbuds in races and don’t hear this…and the wheelchair racers were rightfully angry. BE AWARE!
I remembered Melissa talking about how much she hated the part of the race near Girl Scout Headquarters…so I thought of her as I ran past that. I basically kept my head down for most of this race because I was cold and wet and…that pretty much sums it up. I remember turning into the final Mile, back onto West Broadway…and there being a lot of debris from a car wreck being scattered across the road. It was a hazard and I did my best to avoid what I could…but that should have been swept up prior to the race. Imagine if a shard of glass met a running shoe. YIKES!! And with how minimal some shoes are, that could have definitely spelled disaster. As it was, my foot slipped on a piece of it that it just clipped. But thankfully I was balanced and was able to keep my footing.
At least the finish was with a tailwind, right? It made for a nice finish when all was said and done and I crossed the finish line, feeling pretty good about how I did under the conditions and on tired legs. In fact, it turned out I had a new Rodes City Run 10K PR. Not a 10K PR. Don’t get that confused. I need to shave about 3 minutes off my time to accomplish that and I don’t see that happening for awhile…if ever…at this point. This PR was race specific. Sort of like my Fast Freddie race PR was race specific and not distance specific. Both of which involved a dinner of sushi rolls the night before.
So…the official results of the Rodes City Run 10K are that I finished in 46:43. That put me almost exactly 2 minutes faster than my finish time last year. AND…it’s the fastest I have run the Rodes City Run 10K as well. So…there is that. But I still have a ways to go before I have a new 10K PR. 10K distance is hard for me. I never really know how hard to push and when. I was 219/2527 finishers overall. I was the 49/1358 for women finishers. And I was 12/206 in my age division. I’m really happy with this. I averaged a 7:32 pace for the race, which is impressive these days for me. I really wasn’t focused on running this fast, because I was in old, over-mileage shoes and I run slower on wet pavement for fear of slipping and getting hurt. And, after running a half marathon the Sunday before and then having to do all but 1 run on a treadmill in the week leading into it following the half marathon…I’ll take this. Sore and tired…and I dug deep without even realizing it.
For the record, I did ask Cathy if Melissa started the race and when she confirmed that she had…I knew there was no stopping her and she would finish. And she did.
Usually, there would be celebratory brunch at North End Cafe…but I wanted to go home and take a hot shower and try to get warm. So, Cathy ended up making toast and scrambled eggs for breakfast at home. Warming up, however, never really happened. And very little else aside from minor grocery shopping got done that day because I was just done with being out in the weather.
Such is life.
Good thing there was still Sunday.